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Colbert’s Putin-Trump Joke Sparked Flood of FCC Complaints

TheWrap logo TheWrap 5/19/2017 Sean Burch

The Federal Communications Commission has been bombarded with complaints after Stephen Colbert recently made a crude joke about President Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Nearly 6,000 complaints have been filed since "The Late Show" host's joke on May 1, with objections ranging from indecency to hate speech to homophobia, according to Politico.

Politico was able to review some of the comments obtained from the FCC through the Freedom of Information Act, with one Florida complaint saying, "I know all you Commie shills hate this president but it is your job to keep these Leftists from dragging this nation further into the gutter."

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai initially responded to the stir surrounding Colbert's joke by reminding the outraged that "it's a free country." Colbert © Provided by The Wrap News, Inc. Colbert

"The FCC -- outside of our decency rules -- we don't get into the business of regulating content," Pai said in an interview on May 3. "What I can say is that I realize this is a politically polarized time and I would hope that everyone can participate in the public discourse in a way that's civil and operates in good faith."

Pai did later, however, reveal that the FCC was reviewing complaints.

Viewers first aired their disappointment on Twitter, unsettled that the left-leaning host would make a joke that seemed to suggest, to them, that he thought there was anything wrong with a sex act between two men. Conservatives, meanwhile, fumed that liberals had a double standard for right-wingers and their own progressive icons. They said many conservative media personalities had been torn down for making remarks like Colbert's.

In a transcript provided to TheWrap on May 3 from CBS, Colbert offered a message of love and inclusion: "I just want to say for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is to me an American hero." He said he hoped Trump would agree.

Related video: Colbert reacts to Trump calling him a 'no-talent' guy (via CBS Entertainment)

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